Seven albums into one of country music’s most-respected and most-unpredictable careers, award-winning singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley continues to grow. His latest evolution comes in the form of RISER, a project due out Feb. 25, 2014 that stands as his most personal to date.
Written and recorded in the year following his father’s death, the album draws its title from “I’m A Riser,” a song about resilience and determination. “I’m A Riser” works as a commentary on spiritual, personal and societal recommitment, but it also applies to the competitive battlefield of the music industry. It’s particularly appropriate for an album about rejuvenation delivered by Bentley.
“Life in general has a way of knocking you down,” Bentley says. “It’s different reasons for different folks – could be personal reasons, could be family reasons, your job, drugs, alcohol. That song really applies to anybody that’s lived. There have always been those moments when we have to get back up and get on our feet. They are defining moments…breakthrough moments.”
Accepting change – and growing from it – is a key theme in RISER, and it is reflected by the tone of the album, which demonstrates a new artistic depth and an extra level of intensity for Bentley. It evolves from track to track, exuding a range of emotions, all the while impressing upon the listener that Bentley’s instinct for a hit is stronger than ever. Bentley made significant reconfigurations in his creative team to shake up his sonic texture without sacrificing his commercial drive. He re-enlisted executive producer Arturo Buenahora, Jr., who worked on Bentley’s first two albums; and utilized producer Ross Copperman, who co-wrote “Tip It On Back” for Bentley’s previous album Home.
The new atmosphere yielded the most focused and intense vocals of Bentley’s career. Some were recorded live with the band as the musicians laid down the tracks, but others were captured in less-than-obvious locales. One track’s vocal was recorded on Bentley’s tour bus. Still others were cut at Copperman’s house with the producer literally at Bentley’s side, pushing him to some of his most emotional, and seasoned, performances.
“It’s not even really a studio,” Bentley says of Copperman’s set-up. “It’s just kind of a corner of the house he’s taken over, so there was a kind of intimacy to the vocal process. It was important to get out of the studio and sing in different places, and to do it with other people in the room. That way, you have an audience and you get a sense of what’s working, what’s not working, when it’s feeling good, not feeling good. It brings a little more emotion and energy out of your voice.”
Since making a life-altering drive with his father from Phoenix to Nashville when he was 19 years old, Bentley has forged his own path in an industry built predominantly on formula. He has mixed elements of modern country, classic country, bluegrass and rock, maintaining an unmistakable identity while constantly reinventing his sound. His album Home debuted at No. 1 and spawned three consecutive chart-topping hits, marking 10 career No. 1 songs for Bentley as a singer and songwriter. His five previous studio albums have sold more than five million copies, garnered 11 GRAMMY nominations and earned him an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry.
Dierks Bentley is on fire, and it’s not just because his latest single, “Burning Man,” is rushing up the country charts. He’s also signed on as executive producer on a new scripted television show for FOX. According to Variety, the untitled series “is set in a Nashville bar, where singers and songwriters go to chase their dreams, or maybe just to fall in love if only for a night.” Dierks’ manager, Mary Hilliard Harrington, will also be an executive producer on the show.
The series was created by writer and executive producer Jack Burditt, the person responsible for “Last Man Standing.” His other recent credits include “Modern Family,” “Great News,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “The Mindy Project.”
Dierks just wrapped his Mountain High Tour with Brothers Osborne (who are featured on “Burning Man”) and LANCO.
Dierks is nominated for several CMA Awards, including Male Vocalist, Album (The Mountain) and Musical Event of the Year for “Burning Man.” The 52nd Annual CMA Awards will broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 14th at 8pm ET/PT on ABC.
Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban and Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet have been added to the list of stars appearing at the CMT Artists of the Year special on Wednesday night (October 17th).
Dierks, along with Sheryl Crow and Martina McBride, will join together for a special tribute to honor Loretta Lynn who is receiving the 2018 Artist of a Lifetime Award.
Keith Urban, Elle King, Smokey Robinson, LBT’s Jimi and Phillip, Trisha Yearwood, Oscar winner Sissy Spacek, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood will present.
Performances include honoree Carrie Underwood with Maddie & Tae and Runaway June, honorees Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman with Gladys Knight. Miranda Lambert and Pistol Annies, Kelsea Ballerini with Alison Krauss, Hillary Scott with Tori Kelley and Kirk Franklin and Maren Morris with Brandi Carlile.
This year’s CMT Artists of the Year – celebrating all females – will air live from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center Wednesday (October 17th) at 8pm ET/PT.
Dierks Bentley wrapped his 2018 MOUNTAIN HIGH TOUR this past Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl. Since its launch in May, “expectations were instantly met and exceeded” (Arizona Republic) throughout the 30-city run with Bentley’s “eclectic, likable tour of country styles” (Newsday). Bentley brought along special guests Brothers Osborne and LANCO, and the tour’s final show included a two-song jam with the entire lineup and surprise guest Dwight Yoakam.
“This season of my life has been filled with so much meaning and purpose and this tour played a large role in that,” said Bentley. “We launched it with the new album, which was in a lot of ways a reflection of the fans’ stories we’d heard out on the road, combined with my own personal life and career journey. We played and sold out bucket-list rooms like Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Bowl. Most importantly, it was a year the friendships that already existed with Brothers Osborne, LANCO and DJ AYDAMN were taken to new levels. The family atmosphere that existed on this tour is something I strive for every year and this year was no exception… it was one of the most fun touring seasons of my life on and off the stage.”
The full throttle tour was known to “deliver an evening of feel-good, rockin’ Country music” (Buffalo News) with spontaneous performances and eye-catching production. Standout moments included impromptu sets from Bentley’s 90’s cover band Hot Country Knights, along with a reappearance from LANCO’s lead singer Brandon Lancaster as the two paired for John Michael Montgomery’s classic hit “Sold” (The Grundy County Auction). Additionally, each night Bentley was joined by Brothers Osborne for his Top 20 and climbing single “Burning Man” where “fans danced and sang like nobody was watching” (Calgary Herald).
Reaching a new creative high, Bentley co-wrote 10 of his current album THE MOUNTAIN’s (Capitol Records Nashville) 13 tracks, which earned him the highest debut sales of his career and became his seventh chart-topping album. Bentley has amassed billions of digital streams, countless nominations from the ACMs, Billboard Music Awards and more while earning 13 GRAMMY nominations – including at least one stemming from each of his last six albums.
Dierks is nominated for three CMA Awards, including Male Vocalist, Album of the Year (The Mountain) and Musical Event of the Year with Brothers Osborne for his latest single “Burning Man.” The CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, will broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena November 14th at 8pm ET on ABC.